Abu Dhabi monitors presence of rare blue hole in waters of Al Dhafra

Web Report/Abu Dhabi
Filed on October 9, 2021

The blue hole is home to many fish communities and provides shelter to marine life.

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), during one of its regular surveys and assessments, monitored a rare blue holes in the waters of Al Dhafra region in Abu Dhabi.

This unique habitat holds at least 10 types of coral species and forms a reef at the edges of the hole. The blue hole is home to many fish communities and provides shelter to fish such as Grouper, Sweetlips, Emperor Fish and Jackfish.

The perimeter of the Al Dhafra blue hole is approximately 300 metres long and 200 metres wide, and encompasses a total area of around 45,000 square metres. Preliminary analysis of the seabed area that forms the centre of the blue hole, indicated a depressed, semi-circular area roughly around 5,000 square meters. The semi-circular area topography is flat with a maximum depth of 12 metres and the bottom composition is a combination of silt and sand.

This rare blue hole is significantly important, as it provides a glimpse of how historic reefs used to look like in Abu Dhabi. The EAD will conduct scientific and topographic surveys to further understand this unique natural phenomenon.

The blue hole is a natural phenomenon characterised by a deep marine depression compared to the shallow areas that surround it. The deepest blue hole, The Yongle, lies in the South China sea and reaches 300 metres. Other famous blue holes include the Great Blue Hole in Belize, Gozo’s Blue Hole in Malta, the Blue Hole at Dabahb in Egypt and Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

These unique structures attract divers from all over the world and are home to fringing reefs and diverse fish species, and at their depths, they host diverse microbial communities.

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